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Manali – Tsomoriri – Ladakh Trail


Manali–Tsomoriri–Ladakh Trail

Manali – Tsomoriri – Ladakh Trail (10N/ 11D)


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Day 1

Distance – 310 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 9 hrs.
Pick up from Chandigarh Airport or Railway station and drive to Manali (1950 mts/ 6450 ft). Enroute visit Vaishno Temple at Kullu. Reach Manali by late evening. O/n Hotel.

Day 2

Distance – 45 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 6 hrs.
Breakfast and set off for lovely countryside drive which takes you to capital of old Kullu state called Nagar. Visit 1000 years old temple dedicated to Gayatri Devi at Jagatusukh. Visit Nagar castle built in typical Kullu architecture style which used to be the residence of the royal family. Visit Roerich estate which belongs to famous Russian artist called Nicholas Roerich. Visit ages old pagoda shaped temple of Hadimba located beautifully in the middle of cedar forest, Natural sulphur hot water springs at Vashisht. Explore old Manali in the evening. O/n Hotel.

Day 3

Distance – 82 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 6 hrs.
Check out & Set off for acclimatizing trip after Breakfast. Ahead of Manali the road is well sprung and scenic as it ascends to the Rohtang Pass (3978 mts/ 13050 ft) high - our first landmark - 51 Km from Manali. Walk for one hour beyond Gulaba. Lunch at Marhi and drive on. The Rohtang Pass or Rohtang La demarcates the natural barrier between the dense Deodar forests, apple orchards and pretty alpine meadows of the Kullu valley and the harsher high altitude desert of Lahaul-spiti. Crossing the pass, the road descends the Chandra valley, the beginning of the Lahaul-spiti region - a stark, dry, forbidding yet amazingly beautiful land. The valley commands excellent views of the surrounding mountains, including the 6420 mts/ 21200 ft high White Sail massif (Dharamsura). Further descent from Rohtang takes you to Sissu (3200 mts/ 10550 ft), a spectacular village in Lahaul Valley, surrounded by towering mountains, a lake, verdant fields and a big waterfall. The campsite is located next to waterfall and lake. O/n Camp.

Day 4

Distance – 175 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 8 hrs.
Check out after Breakfast, Visit Gondhla fort, Khardang Gompa and drive to Keylong (3080 mts/ 10100 ft), the headquarters of Lahaul. Evening Tea at Darcha. The trails second pass, Baralacha La (4880 mts/ 16100 ft), lays approximately 45 Kilometers beyond Darcha. Leading up to the pass is a 10 Kilometers stretch known as Zingzing bar. The scenery here is spectacular. Sparse vegetation notwithstanding the bare mountains are a riot of colors - deep crimson, grey-green, indigo, mauve, lilac along with crystal clear waters of lake Suraj Tal. A brief halt at the top of the pass is mandatory, to allow us to drink in the awe-inspiring spectacle around us. Having crossed the pass another hour's drive brings us to the busy little hamlet of Sarchu (4420 mts/ 14600 ft), our destination for the day. Dinner & O/N stay at Swiss cottage tents Sarchu.

Day 5

Distance – 195 Kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 9 hrs.
Early morning, after Breakfast, start your journey to Tso-Moriri Lake. After driving up the Naki-La (4950 mts/ 16330 ft) and Lachalung La (5060 mts/ 16700 ft), the descent to pang (4500 mts/ 14850 ft) is quite spectacular which offers great views of a series of dramatic gorges. We cross the Pang Army camp and then the More plains (4500 mts/ 14850 ft) and then divert towards right to reach Tso-Moriri by late evening. Tso-moriri (4595 mts/ 15160 ft) is the largest in size (28 kms long and 5/6 kms in width) and highest brackish wetland in cold desert eco system of trans-Himalayas of Indian subcontinent. It is the breeding and nesting abode of globally threatened bar-headed goose, Black necked cranes, Brown headed Gulls, pin tails and Brahmini ducks. O/N stay at guest house or camp by the lakeside.

Day 6

Distance – 210 Kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 9 hrs.
After Breakfast start your journey to Leh. After driving past Puga Sumdo, one passes thru Umbu bush valley on the way to Chumathang. At Mahe Bridge one gets the first views of Indus River. Reach Leh (3524 mts/ 11560 ft) by late evening. O/N stay at Hotel.

Day 7

A day at leisure to unwind and rest. Take a walk to Shanti Stupa in the evening, excellent view of entire Leh town. Take an easy half hour walk to Sankar Gompa which is daughter embellishment of Spituk monastery and residence of Abbot of Spituk. Evening visit is recommended as Sankar Gompa is open the evening and is kept well lit. Eplore interesting Leh market. O/n Hotel.

Day 8

Distance – 130 Kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 6 hrs.
After an early breakfast, we set off towards the Nubra Valley 'The Valley of Wild Roses’. The route from Leh to the Nubra valley is perhaps the most scenic in Laddakh, making its way over the world's highest motor able pass - Khardung La (18380 ft/5606m) and into the picturesque Nubra valley (3048 mts/ 10050 ft). Where the rest of Ladakh is arid and barren, the Nubra blooms and blossoms in many colors. The name Nubra is derived from the Ladakhi 'Dumra' which means garden or orchard. The Nubra valley is a small stretch of land in the northern part of Ladakh, nestled at the foot of the Karakoram Ranges. Two major rivers, the Nubra and the Shyok, irrigate this area giving rise to a fair bit of vegetation: mosses, wild roses, edelweiss, gentians, apricot and apple orchards, barley fields and willows. This combined with the ethereal beauty of the towering mountains all around it, makes the Nubra valley one of the most striking regions of Ladakh. This stunning valley is the same area through which the legendary silk route once traced its wealthy way - merchant caravans loaded with everything from carpets and silks to dry fruits and jewellery, made their way to Central Asia through the Nubra Valley. Dinner and overnight stay at Swiss cottage tents in Tigar.

Day 9

Distance – 150 Kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 8 hrs.
After breakfast, visit Hundur and Diskit (3144 mts/ 10315 ft). One can see the famous sand dunes at Hundur and even can go for a Camel Ride on the famous double humped Bactrian camels. See the vast expanse of Nubra from Diskit Monastery. Drive back and reach Leh by late evening. O/n Hotel at Leh.

Day 10

Distance – 100 kms, Journey and Sight-seeing Time – approximately 7 hrs.
Breakfast followed Monastery Tour of Shey, Thikse and Hemis. Shey monastery (Appx 3400 mts) is 15 kms South of Leh on Manali highway. Shey village was summer retreat for Kings of Ladakh. Monastery built in 1655 has giant copper with gilded gold statute of seated Shakyamuni Buddha.Thikse monastery (Appx 3600 mts) is 15thcentury Gelugpa sect (Yellow Hat) monastery, 19 kms from Leh, noted for its resemblance to Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet, is largest in central Ladakh. This 12 storey complex houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, thangkas, wall paintings etc. Main attraction is 15 mts tall image of maitreya Buddha. Hemis monastery (Appx 3600 mts) built in 1630 is the main seat of Kagyu lineage (Red Hat) of Buddhism and appears to be a beautiful cave hermitage. But entrance gives way to large courtyard with its enclosing gallery decorated with painted stone reliefs. Drive back to Leh, O/n Hotel.

Day 11

Transfer to Airport. Board early morning flight to Delhi.